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Stanford Health Services names interim board, chief officers

STANFORD -- In major steps toward its launch, Stanford Health Services on Monday (April 11) named an interim board of directors and chief executive, medical and operating officers.

Stanford University President Gerhard Casper has selected 11 people for the interim board to help guide the creation of SHS. Isaac Stein, who was vice-chair of the presidential task force that led to the creation of the new patient-care organization, will serve as chair of its interim board.

Peter Van Etten, Stanford University chief financial officer, will take a leave of absence to serve as interim CEO of SHS and Stanford University Hospital. In the latter role, Van Etten will succeed Kenneth D. Bloem, who has accepted a position as president and CEO of the Advisory Board Co., a for-profit think tank and publishing house in Washington, D.C.

Casper also named Dr. Peter Gregory, associate dean and medical director of the Faculty Practice Program, interim chief medical officer of SHS, and Malinda Mitchell, the hospital's vice president for operations, chief operating officer.

Stanford Health Services is a new corporate entity designed to unify the patient-care operations of the Stanford Medical Center currently conducted by the Stanford University Hospital and the Faculty Practice Program of the Stanford School of Medicine. The consolidation, with a target operational date of Sept. 1 following pending approvals, is designed to enable Stanford to respond effectively to changes in the health-care marketplace.

Casper said that Van Etten and the interim board and officers will provide continuity and experience as Stanford Health Services takes shape. He said a national search is planned for a permanent CEO.

"We owe Ken Bloem a great debt of thanks for his crucial role in helping to bring about the SHS solution to the challenges the Medical Center faces," Casper said. "Knowing his interest in national policy, especially at this time of tremendous change, I understand his attraction to the platform offered by the Advisory Board, and I wish him great success.

"Isaac [Stein], Peter Van Etten, Peter Gregory and Malinda Mitchell have been intimately involved in the task force and working groups that have led to Stanford Health Services and therefore are ideal choices to move the process forward. Peter Van Etten has the additional experience of being a member of the Stanford hospital board and, before coming to Stanford, was a senior executive of several large teaching hospitals."

Casper will be an ex officio member of SHS board. The first members of the interim board, with others to be named over the next several months, include:

Van Etten, whose universitywide duties will be handled by senior administrators, came to Stanford in 1991 from a position as deputy chancellor for management and finance at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass. He previously was executive vice president of New England Medical Center Hospital and chief financial officer of Boston University Hospital.

"I see my primary role as developing a broad strategic plan for SHS," Van Etten said. "At the same time, I have the more specific task of implementing the merger of the Faculty Practice Plan and the hospital, while ensuring that both continue to thrive. This will include maintaining Stanford University Hospital's historically close relationships with other health-care providers in the community, especially the private physicians who are such an important part of our medical staff."

Bloem, who has been president of the hospital since 1989, expressed his confidence in its future and in that of the new organization he helped plan.

"I leave with a very, very optimistic view of the future of Stanford Health Services," Bloem said. "SHS is in the best position of any academic medical center I know to respond to the challenges of managed care and legislative reform. It will be very successful in the months and years ahead."

Meier, chair of the hospital board, expressed appreciation for Bloem's accomplishments as president of the hospital.

"The patient-centered focus that distinguishes Stanford University Hospital has been of tremendous benefit to our patients," she said. "Ken has championed new programs and the development of a cohesive medical staff at a time of major changes in health care. When Ken told us he wished to pursue this new opportunity, we were pleased for him but very sorry to lose him. And we intend to continue the advances he has begun."

Bloem was clearly excited about his new post, leading a firm that provides analyses and strategic overviews to 1,200 health-care, financial and corporate members around the world.

"I've respected the Advisory Board greatly in the five or six years I've gotten to know it," Bloem said. "It provides a great opportunity to speak for more than a thousand hospitals simultaneously, as well as to expand to other fields."



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